Saving resources, reducing waste

With the skyrocketing world population having reached an estimated 7.5 billion this year, resources have become more scarce and precious than ever. Simultaneously, environmental concerns continue to grow. Manufacturers in all industry sectors seek to avoid wastage of raw materials and find ways to save resources. Energy consumption is being decreased thanks to the development of new, more efficient technology.


Energy-saving innovations and improvements are widely included in the technological advances of next generation production plants and their optimization of processes. Latest solutions in the industry are significantly reducing overall operating costs while reducing or avoiding waste to help the environment.

Usually, there is still potential for boosting efficiency in production. Factors include less maintenance, larger capacities per shift, quicker changeover, bigger versatility, longer operating times, reduced energy consumption and many other improvements. For example, Haas offers a number of eco-friendly solutions, devices and machines. Entitled the new “ECO Principle”, one of the solutions offered by Haas implements new operating technologies to use less energy and causer lower emissions. The Haas ECO oven features a revolutionary, new burner generation with individual adjustment of every burner for accurate heat distribution. New, improved insulation and a closed oven floor prevent cooling by secondary air. The advantages include less gas consumption and significantly lower emissions, simplification of oven adjustments and even better wafer sheet quality.

Further, Haas offers a next generation heat recovery unit which can achieve savings of up to 15%. Results of tests conducted on oil heated ovens also apply to gas heated and electrically heated ovens, with possible savings of 10-15%. Heat recovery units can be installed in all oven zones with temperatures of 150° C and more.


Haas: Pioneer in efficiency

Amaury de Ricqlès, Product Manager at Haas-Meincke says: "At Haas-Meincke, efficiency in the equipment we design has always been at the center of our concern. This is in the genes of the company and was addressed much earlier than the arising of so-called ‘eco-friendly’ stickers in brochures”. This may be linked to the Danish roots of the company because Danish design is indeed characterized and recognized worldwide for combining simplicity and functionalism, thus efficiency in products with a technological content. But before mentioning energy saving or waste avoidance as addressed below, Haas-Meincke can point out the two meter oven module, for example: This standard from 1962 is as relevant and accurate today as when it was established because it was designed to maximize the load of trucks and ship-containers, lower transport cost and related CO2 emission. There was a 'pre-assemble' philosophy, which lead to a quicker installation phase and better reliability of the lines installed. Finally, all of those aspects have positive impacts on the TCO for our customers and the LCA [Life Cycle Assessment] of our material.

“We are continuously working on improving the efficiency of our ovens to maintain our market leader position in this domain. A TCO [Total Cost of Ownership] analysis shows that gas and electricity represent around 20% of the end product value (~70 % being raw materials). As we address the largest customers worldwide with a huge daily production, one point of energy saving means a lot!" Amaury de Ricqlès continues. "For example, we are finalizing a new design on our IFC 150 kW heat exchanger. Trials run during this R&D project showed a significantly raised heat flux. Again, this is a continuous process in a dynamic context and we are confident that we will continue to outperform our competitors for the coming years," he points out.


Ecological awareness; differences between markets

"We see differences in the markets and we notice that governments play an important role, creating tighter and stricter regulations. Also, social responsibility is a topic. It is no longer only on the agenda of the big players in the market, but a serious topic for more and more companies," Raphael Jiraschek, Director of Sales & Marketing at Haas-Mondomix explains.

"Eco-friendly trends are obviously on the rise around the globe and even in emerging markets such as China we see increasingly stricter emission regulations, especially where global players are concerned. In order to expand their production facilities some customers are forced to substantially lower the emissions of each individual machine in order to avoid exceeding the overall permitted level," adds Sandra Lutz, Head of Product Management at FHW Franz Haas Wafer.


Less waste, lower emissions

"Avoiding raw material wastage is very dependent of local legislations," explains Raphael Jiraschek. "Especially wastage of product and cleaning solutions are getting more important. For example, we delivered a cup cake kitchen with a complete CIP-System to Saudi Arabia to make sure that water wastage was as low as possible. We also work more and more with fat cream lines, where the cleaning oil is not disposed, but reused for several times. Another improvement is that we offer the possibility of recirculating the seal water, instead of connecting it directly to the drain. Also, our cold and warm water units are mostly designed as so-called 'Combi-Units'. This means they work as a closed and independent system which does not require warm or cold water from the customer's factory. This means a more stable process, reliability and less use of water. Heat recovery systems for pre-heating water are also possible, reducing energy consumption even further. Customers are also demanding higher efficiency in their lines. For example, we delivered high output fat cream lines, with continuous kitchens. This ensures a much smaller footprint and smaller tanks. And over the year, this amounts to a great saving in cleaning medium," he adds.

"Thanks to our worldwide coverage through the Group's service centers, we are used to visiting our customers. We develop long-lasting relationships (also through our Service Contract for example), that allow us to take operational customers’ concerns back to our design department," says Amaury de Ricqlès. "This ability to listen to customers and study how they operate led - among other things - to the development of the 'Eco-Mode' add-on (or option for new ovens): We had noticed that some waste was repeatedly generated after staff pauses or for other reasons, leading to a gap in feeding the oven. Now, with a simple Gap Control Unit, the 'Eco-Mode' add-on adapts the oven’s set-up to prepare the next wave of products while minimizing unnecessary energy consumption!"

"Raw material wastage is of utmost importance, particularly because raw materials account for the lion's share of the TCOs. Accordingly, our ovens and downstream equipment have been optimized for lowest waste rates and show highest efficiencies. When designing molds, we put utmost emphasis on waste minimization. The emphasis of the new Cutting & Handover system we will be presenting at interpack, for example, is to improve efficiency of the fully automated link to packaging," Sandra Lutz concludes.


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